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Glorified, Contested and Mobilized: the Alps in the Deutscher und Oesterreichischer Alpenverein from the 1860s to 1933

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalAustrian Studies
Journal number2010
Volume18
Number of pages18
Pages141-158
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

From the foundation of the association to 1933, the Eastern Alps were glorified and politically mobilised in the publications of the Deutsch Oesterreichischer Alpenverein. This paper also shows, however, how constructions of the Alps, and activities within them, were the subject of contestation. We examine where competing visions of the space led to the increasing politicisation of an organisation which repeatedly sought to emphasise its apolitical nature. Given that this period encompasses the Austro-Prussian War, the separate formation of the German Empire, and repeated calls for Anschluß, the Verein's emphasis on a unified Germanness, which excluded non-German inhabitants of the region, was clearly politically charged. This discussion offers a case study which suggests the importance of attitudes and emotional responses to space and place in the formation of collective identities.